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Understanding Qualitative Research and Ethnomethodology
Understanding Qualitative Research and Ethnomethodology
by Paul Ten Have
Edition: Paperback
Price: £24.77

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Claryifying!, 24 Mar 2011
Understanding ethnomethodology is not easy. I got interested in it through the modified versions that exist in the study of computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW), and went further via Garfinkel's own works. Still I felt very unclear. This book is an excellent primer on ethnomethodology, especially because:

- It is well-written
- It has recommendations for further reading
- It substantiates its arguments with references and quotes to Garfinkel and other sources.
- It explains its subject in comparision with other schools in social science. That is very instructive.

I do not know ethnomethodology well enough to know to what degree it makes justice to the canonical texts, but I took a look at a professional review in QFS that verified that Ten Have has a good grasp of it (and why shouldn't he?).


Redesigning the Future: Systems Approach to Societal Problems
Redesigning the Future: Systems Approach to Societal Problems
by RL ACKOFF
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars still relevant, 19 Oct 2010
The book is well-written and witty. There is little trace of the more mathematically dependent work of Operations Research, which Ackoff is also known for.

I expected that Ackoff in this book presented some experiences from actual change project using systems theory. Some parts of the book cover that, but most of it is speculation based on his system-theoretical principles. I am not an historian but I guess that this book was unlike any other by the time it was published. It is its focus on real-world problems involving public participatory planning and systems theory that make it stand out.

If you came to this book in order to get an example of systems theory from 1970'ies, borrow the book at the library. If you are seriously interested in organizational change and societal change from a systems theory perspective and want to read a classic author, this may be a book to acquire for your library.


Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond (Key Contemporary Thinkers)
Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond (Key Contemporary Thinkers)
by Douglas M. Kellner
Edition: Hardcover

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the first, and one of the best secondary works on Baudrillard, 2 Aug 2010
This book is one of the first secondary works that provides an overview and assessment of Baudrillard's works. To me, it still stands out as one of the best. Kellner demonstrates an extremely impressing ability to relate Baudrillard's works to his inspirational sources, such as Bataille, Barthes, Lefebvre, de Saussure, etc. I have worked with Baudrillard's theory for years with the help of secondary material, and am still not able to equal Kellner's knowledge - I can only imagine what monumental work it must have been to amass this text. Readers should be aware, though, that Kellner's reading is discredited by many other Baudrillard scholars.

The writing style is easy, the argumentation is far better referenced than any other secondary source I know. A given 5 star.


A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will (Fundamentals of Philosophy Series)
A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will (Fundamentals of Philosophy Series)
by Robert Kane
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars excellent introduction - but where are the continental thinkers?, 26 July 2010
This is a really good book in that it introduces a number of important positions, reviews them, and provide some suggested readings in the end of the chapter. It strikes me as exceptionally clear and well written.

Potential readers may be interested in that Kane himself is a (free will) libertarian. His program is to reconcile the libertarian view of free will with "what we know in modern science" (see chapter "free wil and modern science"). He has written extensively on free will and is an authority on the subject.

I am not a professional philosopher, so it is hard for me to put it into relation with the rest of the contemporary debate around free will. However, it strikes me that even for an analytic philosopher, there are very few references to continental philosophers (Sartre and Engels and their contemporary heirs have interesting things to say about free will, for instance). The exception is a short discussion about Nietzsche (only because another philosopher that Kane is discussing has quoted him). There are some links to Kant too, but where are the more contemporary continental philosophers? This is my only reason for not giving it 5 stars.


Free Will and Continental Philosophy: The Death Without Meaning (Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy)
Free Will and Continental Philosophy: The Death Without Meaning (Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy)
by David Edward Rose
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £69.84

4.0 out of 5 stars Best buy on the market, 26 July 2010
David Edward Rose
Free will and continental philosophy

The book should be praised for handling a cluster of related thoughts of continental philosophy and free will. It thereby fills a gap. Other books (such as Kane) does not cover the continental thinkers, Rose does that well, although it had been nice with a literature review continental philosophy and free will - or a claim that this book is the first.

Personally, after reading many of the passages I am left with a feeling that Rose makes it too easy for himself. There are many possible objections that does not get attention. And sometimes the text is a bit unclear. The book is therefore less a primer on various thinkers' position with regards to ree will, than Rose's comments on them. I think the bok is a better read if you are curious on Rose's contribution to the existing discussion than as a reader's guide of free will.

That said, it is still the best alternative I have seen on the market. the classic still waits to be written, though.


Utopia Deferred: Writings from Utopie (1967-1978) (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents)
Utopia Deferred: Writings from Utopie (1967-1978) (Semiotext(e) / Foreign Agents)
by Jean Baudrillard
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.80

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting collection, 25 May 2010
This is a series of articles from an important phase in Baudrillard's life. According to me, Baudrillard created his most important works during this period. Many of these articles provide valuable extra insight in Baudrillard's other publications. However, potential buyers should be aware that the book contains 26 articles. Out of these, 7 can be found in "Uncollected Baudrillard", and 8 in various other publications, however not in different translations. I shall not be able to assess the quality of translation. Kendall (the translator and editor) is open about that many of the works has been seen in English before, though. Read it if you are seriously interested in Baudrilard!


Structuralism 2e
Structuralism 2e
by John Sturrock
Edition: Paperback
Price: £25.74

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars good for an overview but with at least one error, 29 Jan 2009
This review is from: Structuralism 2e (Paperback)
I am not very versed in structuralism, but find it worthwhile for an overview and for further reading. However, I become worried when I read "One of the oddities of the Course in general Linguistics [arguably the most important text in structuralism"...is that it nowhere contains the term 'structure'" (p.28). My worries come from the fact that when I in parallel read the same translation of Saussure, I encounter the term at several places. So Sturrock is a bit sloppy. I have no better overview to recommend though, except Saussure...


Cost-Justifying Usability: An Update for the Internet Age, Second Edition (Interactive Technologies)
Cost-Justifying Usability: An Update for the Internet Age, Second Edition (Interactive Technologies)
by Randolph G. Bias
Edition: Paperback
Price: £47.74

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars must-read for HCI and usability people, 17 Aug 2008
I am surprised to be the first reviewer of this important book. I suspected this to be lipsticked version of the author's book from 1994, but it is actually extensively updated. Although Usability Engineering has its problems, its ability to produce arguments that decision-makers listen to is crucial. Today, usability simply to seldom make it to the executive's desk. More usabiliity professionals and academics armed with arguments from this book can change that. I am using it in my research and teaching.

It lies in the nature of research-based book like this one that many data is a few years old, but that is the price you have to pay for a critical-minded compilation of facts; the alternative is to rely on intuition and word-of-mouth within your own company and network.


Croatia (Lonely Planet Country Guides)
Croatia (Lonely Planet Country Guides)
by Jeanne Oliver
Edition: Paperback

12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lonely Planets worst so far, 12 July 2006
Being one of the mainstream budget travellers using LP as one of the main tools to get by in unknown countries, I bought the LP Croatia for my summer trip. Out of the ten latest lonely planet books I have been using, this is the worst. It is hard to plan your route due to the inconsequental "getting There & Away" sections. Further, it does not fully follow normal LP standard structure, which may sound cranky, but it is actually quite irritating when you use it as reference. The recommendations on sites themselves are pretty ok though.


The Cultural Psychology of Self: Place, Morality and Art in Human Worlds: Location, Morality, Art and Human Worlds
The Cultural Psychology of Self: Place, Morality and Art in Human Worlds: Location, Morality, Art and Human Worlds
by Ciaran Benson
Edition: Paperback
Price: £26.03

4.0 out of 5 stars Good buy, 20 Oct 2005
I might not fully agree with Benson's analysis, but he is a good writer, and has a clear argumentative structure. He synthesises a number of theories in a somewhat eclectic way, which makes the book a good source for further reading. As far as I can judge, the theories he tries to synthesize are all forces to be reckoned with in the contemporary disucussion, also by 2005.


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